“Making Information and Communication Technology work for gender justice”

Date: February 23, 2018
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The successful implementation of the 2030 UN Agenda is a shared responsibility between governments, development agencies, civil society and the public at large. One key player that will contribute greatly to the success of this agenda is the media. Analysis of the media indicates that generally women are either missing, or they are represented in ways that reinforce their traditional roles and/or objectify them. The media can be part of the problem, but it can also be part of the solution in changing attitudes and behaviours, paving the way for its audience to understand the importance of gender equality and importance of women’s role. Unless the media promotes gender equality in the workplace and also in the way women are represented, both within the working environment and in the representation of women   then this instrument cannot be effective for the advancement and empowerment of women.

Taking on the media and fighting for gender equality in this space has been a mission for GL and its partner organisations since inception. This work is in line with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development which encourages the media to give equal voice to women and men in all areas of coverage, including increasing the number of programmes for, by and about women on gender-specific topics that challenge gender stereotypes. It also encourages the enactment of legislation and development of national policies and strategies, including professional guidelines and codes of conduct, to prevent and address gender stereotypes and discrimination in the media

GL, IAWRT and SABA are established partners that have played an active role in promoting gender equality in and through the media in Southern Africa and beyond.


As part of making Information and Communication Technology work for gender equality and justice GL with assistance from Free Press Unlimited have developed a digital gender and media monitoring tool .This tool borrows from the media monitoring methodology developed by the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) and is built from many years of research, training, policy and advocacy by GL .This tool gauges the media representation and exclusion of women especially in news content and in the work place. This work has received an ongoing boost from international organisations such as FOJO that GL has worked with who have helped to refine this instrument.

Critical media monitoring generates evidence for awareness creation and advocacy for change in media institutional practice, policies and editorial content for the advancement of gender equality. GL will showcase this tool and calls for media houses, media development organisations, academia and students, gender and media activists and women’s rights organisations to harness this space and use it to improve effectiveness on collecting data on the women’s voices in the media. Media themselves can also use this platform to self-evaluate through self-monitoring of their media content.  Through this tool we seek to make every voice count and count that it does.

This will be an effective channel for gender activist’s media development organisations academics and many more that can change the way media reports on and about women from different backgrounds.  Findings of the monitoring can be used to raise awareness amongst the media, for the development of gender and media advocacy campaigns, for influencing policies and action plans and assist in development of codes of ethics and guidelines that can promote gender equality in the media

IAWRT will also share on how to counter cyber violence against women journalists. Safety of journalists’ especially female journalists is becoming a serious cause of concern. Female journalists are facing a myriad of challenges in their practice of journalism. These include amongst others intimidation and sexual harassment in their own newsrooms, or even by news sources. There is also a lot of online harassment of journalists being insulted, intimidated and trolled. Perpetrators have been getting away with it mainly because they can hide behind the mask of anonymity online. This instils fear in the journalists both online and in real physical life. This may effectively silence the journalist leading to self-censorship and even some women leaving the profession. Journalists have been working in this climate without policies to safeguard them. IAWRT will also engage on what industry guidelines can be put in place for the safety of women journalists.

SABA who have an online news portal that is shared all over SADC will also share their initiative on how to gather more news from the grassroots though especially public broadcasters who have a much broader reach in their countries to increase the programmes of and about women in the rural to the urban areas. This will be shared throughout all the SADC region and beyond.

Hosting this event will provide individuals with a unique and valuable opportunity to represent their various organisations at the event and showcase what efforts are in place in bringing to light gender inequalities that persist through the media and serve to amplify the Southern African voices at the global level


GL will provide a written report no later than 30 April 2018, on the side event. The report will focus on proceedings of the event and the views on the outcomes of the session.


  • Empowerment and capacity building for all who participate on media monitoring
  • Vast dissemination of news and information in a way that is interactive utilise social media and other forms of communication
  • Strengthening of Networks, North-South, South-South.
  • Effective, debate, lobbying and advocacy for gender equality and justice through the media.


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